For nearly a decade, provinces, school boards, and school districts have been competing to capture the coveted award: the Toonies for Tuition Trophy.
Since its inception in 2011, the CCSTA Toonies for Tuition Trophy Challenge encourages some friendly competition amongst the provinces while supporting families who are sending their children to attend Catholic schools in partially or unfunded provinces.
The two trophy categories include the school board/division that raises the most money per FTE student and the province that raises the most funding per FTE.
CCSTA tallies the funds contributed to the program to determine which parties earn the Trophy for the year.
“We’ve really enjoyed watching the friendly competition unfold between the provinces that are fully funded, as they undertake creative and supportive initiatives to donate to Toonies for Tuition,” says CCSTA Executive Director Julian Hanlon.
Saskatchewan Roots: Its History
Former CCSTA President Mike St. Amand and his colleague, Bert Provost, first launched the Trophy Challenge. Saskatchewan took home the honours for the first six years, followed by an Alberta win and then Ontario. For the past two years, Evergreen CSRC No. 2, AB earned the top spot for the school district.
“Mike and Bert brought a competitive and friendly spirit to this initiative,” says Hanlon. “The Trophy Challenge really helped ignite the fundraising efforts and breathe new life into a much-needed cause.”
An Increased Need:
For the 2019-2020 school year, the Endowment Fund (from the Toonies for Tuition program) distributed $117,000 to help offset tuition costs for families who have applied for financial support. This support is an increase of $48,500 from the previous year.
Requests for assistance were $313,508, which wasan increase of $100,835 from the previous year.
“These Catholic families have sacrificed much in an effort to ensure their children have every opportunity to hear the gospel and grow up in the Catholic faith,” says Hanlon. “It is our heartfelt desire that we will be able to ensure that no Catholic family who wants to send their child to a Catholic school will be turned away.
The funding was distributed amongst applicants in BC, Alberta, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland.
The Endowment Fund has contributed more than half a million dollars to student tuition.
Continued Support for Fundraising:
Last year, the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association encouraged all Ontario boards to participate in the Toonies for Tuition initiative last year, which resulted in record-breaking donations. For this academic year, the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association has made it their charity of choice as well.
“It’s support like this that really makes a difference in a child’s educational life,” says Hanlon. “And we continue to see that support arise across each province. And that Trophy title also helps!”
Donations will be tallied up until May 15, 2020. As such, the CCSTA encourages schools and groups to get in their funds before this deadline. The funds will then be accumulated, and the two category winners will be announced at the CCSTA AGM in June, 2020.
To learn more about the Trophy Challenge – and past winners – please visit the Toonies for Tuition Trophy Challenge page.